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Such loathing precludes any solidarity with your neighbor and thus any way of raising each other out of misery. Of course that is a larger point of which Carolina was probably unaware, but that we can arrive at it through her writing is a further demonstration of this book's importance.
It's a quick read, if repetitive and eventually numbing, and I'm glad to have read it. I don't know that I would necessarily recommend it to others -- if you're interested in an introduction to Brazilian slums, I think the movie "City of God" Cidade de Deus is a more compelling portrayal.
Ultimately they're probably good to experience in tandem, so that you can see where the favelas began and what they have since become. Not Bad Reviews blakerosser I have studied quite a few years about Brazilian culture and to be more specific I focused on studying the people from the favelas. Not entirely sure why I have always been so intrigued by this subject, I think because I wish I could help them all find a better way to live. And their stories of survival and struggling help put my own life into perspective and teach me to be more humble.
I think this is why I plan to continuously revisit this subject in the future, I need to remind myself that I am privileged and I must always remain humble, and seek ways to help the people who are in need, because it seems to make my heart feel better when I do, even if I am a misanthrope.
This woman She is a HERO, a role model, the epitome of a beautiful soul, courageous, strong, a bright fire from a cold dark place that should live on forever by being shared, and remembered for her strength.
Sep 21, Fred Fisher rated it liked it Shelves: It is social commentary by observation and recording, much like People of the Abyss and other works. I was able to recognize the time and place and many of the names used.
It is a bit of a dry read, after all, it is a diary. One of the reasons I find it important is in how it shows how little has changed despite all the struggle.
In fact, life on Earth is getting to be more of struggle even though we have the means to relieve much suffering, both old and new. I thought this was well worth my time. I also think it is critically important to read the afterword. You will know why after you are finished. Feb 24, Lauren added it Shelves: In high school, I'd sneak into the library at lunch or while skipping phys ed to read a few more pages of this book. It felt intimate, almost wrong to read. De Jesus is a gifted, emotive writer, burning to escape the impasse of the favela.
Her daily entries are personal, pained, even mildly arrogant can you blame someone who strives so hard to write that she searches the drug-infested streets for any loose slip of paper to write on? I don't know what else to say about this except that it's a In high school, I'd sneak into the library at lunch or while skipping phys ed to read a few more pages of this book. I don't know what else to say about this except that it's an amazing document of poverty.
These don't come around often. Jun 15, Histteach24 rated it it was ok. I know it is a classic, and I feel for her plight-but this was tough to get through. I was amazed at how well versed she was for having had only a 2nd grade education.
The repetitive diary entries were just agonizing to get through however. Read this for a school book list recommendation-for that purpose I would rate the book higher than 2 stars. Reading it for enjoyment would not be first on my list.
For use in the classroom-she describes the life of the poor in Brazil beautifully. It is a raw I know it is a classic, and I feel for her plight-but this was tough to get through.
It is a raw account, and one that is probably rare to find in written form. Great piece of history. I was devastated to research that her life after the book did not end well. I asked many of the same questions that critics did-why not demand money from the fathers of her children?
Would she have run the risk of losing her children if she had? Why refuse money when men offered? Was her pride her downfall in the end? As savvy as she seemed to be when it came to survival, did she lack the business sense to continue to profit from her book sale? Yet the feminist part of me was proud of her for not lowering her standards and doing everything she could to provide for her children when so many others in the slums starved to death.
Can we really ever move away from our past-or is it always a part of us? In the end, do we die into what we were born? Um relato marcado pela fome, a pobreza, a vontade de morrer, mas seguir vivendo.
Realistic, heavy as it should be, but at the same time, lyrical, highly politicized, conscious and contemporary despite having been written nearly six decades ago. Sep 22, Wall-to-wall books - wendy rated it it was ok. That's what I always start with when I have to give a bad review. I did not like this book at all.
I feel I was being generous by giving it 2 stars. OK, here' goes - I did not expect a great work of literature, I knew this was written by a woman living in the slums, that is not what bothered me about this book. I didn't mind the simpleness of it. You are hungry, your children ar UGH!!! You are hungry, your children are hungry.
I know its sad! But I don't need to read the same thing 20, times. She started "making love" with strangers when she was a teenager! Take some blame!!! She never says "maybe I shouldn't have done that, or - I have made mistakes, or - I would do it differently.
I know that back in the 50's the government in Brazil basically sucked! I agree! But she is constantly expecting the government to walk in and "fix" everything. Quote - "The Politicians must give us things. That includes me too, because I am also a flavelado one who lives in the slums " She says things like this through the whole book.
Quote - "If I'm dirty, its because I don't have soap" She say things like "I didn't wash today because I didn't have money for soap.
I don't think I would just go dirty complaining that I couldn't download soap. And they did have water, they had to walk to get it, but it was there. This person hit that person.
This 40 yr old is fighting with a 5 yr old boy. She threw stones at him, He spit on her. But she turns them away! Quote - "There is a Portuguese here who wants to live with me. But I don't need a man. Then later about a different person she says, "I slept with him. And the night was delicious. Just that she believes they didn't do it. Or gives the excuse that are poor, or that they are young.
She doesn't tell of her love for her children at all. She does say that she doesn't like leaving them alone, but that's as close as she gets. She doesn't tell of everyday life. Or what it is like in Brazil. It is just who did what to whom.
Who is sleeping with whom. I need this and I need that. This book could have been at least interesting - if she had included any details or descriptions of anything. To me, very disappointing book! This book got real mixed reviews, it got some 1's and 2's but also got some 5 stars! I just don't see it. Feb 18, Kathleen rated it liked it Shelves: The daily struggles of an impossibly poor woman living in a shanty-town within a Brazilian city. It's somewhat grueling to read - day after day she goes out and looks for paper and trash to sell, raids trash cans for food, wonders what she is going to feed her children.
Must have been even more grueling to live The remarkable thing is that Carolina had only 2 years of education as a child, and retained a thirst to read and write her entire life. The afterword to this book as interesting as the The daily struggles of an impossibly poor woman living in a shanty-town within a Brazilian city. The afterword to this book as interesting as the book itself - for larger society had complex reactions to Carolina and largely rejected her for not fitting their expectations.
Oct 12, Steph rated it it was ok. I hated this book, but feel guilty about it. What can you do? View all 3 comments.
Sep 14, Jess rated it it was amazing Shelves: This should be required reading for everyone in America. It offers a view of poverty that we, as a privileged nation, rarely see and therefore have no understanding of it and its implications. Feb 26, Eve rated it really liked it Shelves: This is a tough book to review, to be honest. I found the preface and the afterword very interesting, but the diary less so. At first, I had a hard time getting into it because of the short, choppy sentences, which are understandable because Carolina had only two years of education AND it was written as a daily chronicle of life in the favela, not as a piece of literature.
It's not meant to be an example of great writing; rather, it is incredibly r 3. It's not meant to be an example of great writing; rather, it is incredibly raw and serves to really transport the reader to what life was like in the favela for Carolina. It's important to note that this was not her intention in writing the diary: The diary was not started for public consumption, but the reporter's opinion did impact how she wrote the diary going forward, such as leaving out the name of Vera's father by his request.
I am really intrigued by the question presented in the afterword: It's partly the reason I'm having such trouble with my review. I will say that I like it a lot more as a historical document than as a work of literature. It is incredibly repetitive with her details about getting water, selling paper and other scrap material, and the fights that occur in the favela.
The reader is introduced to a wide cast of characters, some of whom only appear once and others who appear randomly throughout the diary, and it's very hard to remember who is who. These issues plus the writing I mentioned earlier make it a bit of a tedious read, as there's no real flow or climax to the story. But again, this is the nature of reading a diary that chronicles the mundane day-to-day life of anyone, really.
As a historical document, it offers quite a lot more in my opinion. It was really interesting to read her impression of politics in Brazil and the way prices began to rise for her daily items. It was also a very sobering snapshot of how people in the favela lived. As a fairly privileged white American, it's almost unthinkable that so many people lived and still live!
I honestly think that the closest thing we ever learned about in school were Hoovervilles during the Great Depression, and probably the only reason we learned about them is because white Americans lived in them. Que foi escrito em Antes dele eu estava semi-cego pra vida na favela. Eu recomendaria este livro ao Arnaldo Antunes, porque um poeta sacaria a beleza da linguagem de pronto. Simples e concreta. Mesmo que os "acostumem mal. Adhemar de Barros? Agora falar pra mim, que sou uma pobre lixeira.
It is accounts like these that show how useful ordinary people's diaries are to history. Reading Carolina de Jesus's diary, you can see exactly what it was like to live in the grim, apocalyptic world that was slums of Sao Paulo. It was a place where women fought with their partners all the time and were often chased naked into the street, where people combed through the garbage for food that was not too rotten, where tiny babies died as a matter of course and older children scavenged for whateve It is accounts like these that show how useful ordinary people's diaries are to history.
It was a place where women fought with their partners all the time and were often chased naked into the street, where people combed through the garbage for food that was not too rotten, where tiny babies died as a matter of course and older children scavenged for whatever they could sell and thus fill their stomachs for awhile.
There was plenty of food available, but not the money to download it, and shopkeepers' stock would go rotten and they would toss it into the favela for the poor to pick over. During the time she was writing this diary, Carolina was making a living selling scrap paper at a penny for four pounds.
She would make about thirty cents on the good days. On the bad days such as whenever it rained and all the scrap paper got wet she made nothing. A large part of the diary is preoccupied with her constant, Sisyphean struggle to provide for herself and her three young children.
But Carolina writes without self-pity and even with a kind of wry humor. Once, she likened the city of Sao Paulo to a house and said the presidential palace was the living room, the mayor's home was the dining room, the city was the garden and the favela was the backyard garbage heap.
Her intelligence and wit are obvious in spite of her second-grade education, and I wonder just how far she could have gone if only she'd been born in different circumstances. Favelas and their like still exist all over the world, and a significant proportion of the world's population still lives on less than two dollars a day.
This diary is just as relevant today as it was fifty years ago when it was first written. This was an honest, jarring, and compelling read overall. The unadulterated excerpts of Carolina - single mother, paper gatherer, impoverished Sao Paolo favelado - speaks authentically of desperationa and hope tightly bound in a life mired in a socioeconomic hell.
There are some unfortunate aspects of this edition, though. Clair's Translator's Note speaking of a woman nearly ridden out of slums on a rail when the book successfully comes out. However, photographs in the book show an orderly e This was an honest, jarring, and compelling read overall. However, photographs in the book show an orderly egree with nothing more threatening than standoffish spectators. The Note also says Carolina was pushing her novels and declairing here memoirs were a diary never meant for any eyes than her own.
However, the memoir's own content repeats her assertion that the work is contrived for publication in order to help facilitate some sharing of the truth. At least part of this may be due to the fact that the content of the book, covering the late '50s, post-dates the Brazilian newspaper excerpt and book arrival. Part of this bookk actually records her book being published and the reaction to it.
Finally, a little more whitespace would have made reading easier. The short entries for a single day were typeset without even a line break between them, although they are such obvious chunks to present with some separation. Aug 04, Michele rated it liked it. For example, she complains about her neighbors who have succumbed to prostitution, but she has a gentleman or two that visit her for sex and bring money… so I am not sure how that differs?
But I suppose we are all the heroes of our own diaries. At times it was repetitive, monotonous, and difficult to read. During the interview Vera clearly describes how her mother devoted herself entirely to her dream of becoming a writer, without the help of others.
Vera admired her mother's aspiration to create a better life not only for herself but for her children. Although Carolina was a difficult person to live with, Vera stated "There is no one in the world I admire more than her. Constantly praising her mother during the interview, Vera gives thanks to her life history completely to the work of her mother; she would have not been able attend school but for the success of her mother,.
Vera constantly mentions the danger of living in the favela and although she and her siblings were born poor through their mother's suffering fought for a better life for her children. Violence in the favela made it dangerous for Vera and her brothers to be on the streets with her mother, so most of their time was spent waiting and sometimes studying in their shack awaiting her return.
Carolina rarely let her children leave their shack in fear of their safety. Later, leaving her children became too dangerous. Vera professed: They only returned at night, to sleep. Movie tickets ended up costing much of our money for food, but she preferred it that way. Socially, Vera made it clear that there was always a man in her mother's life. Carolina simply loved being infatuated with men and adored love making.
She stressed how Carolina did not like the black men living in the favela and that they did not favor Carolina too much either. They were less in awe of her writing, and more intimidated by it: There were people who laughed. The worst ones laughed at her piles of paper, but they stopped when they realized that it was neither a joke nor craziness" She threatened to write about people in her book if she got upset. Jealousy of her writing, men, and lifestyle resulted in other faveladas becoming her enemies.
However, this did not stop Carolina continuing to write about what was happening in the favela. During this interview Vera recalls an event specifically showing her mother's love and protection for her children.
She told about a time during her childhood where she was playing in the grass when a man approached her and asked her to help him find something. A mother's instinct warned Carolina that her daughter was in trouble, and soon she made her way down to the river, rescuing her daughter from this stranger.
Soon after her publication Vera found herself attending her mother's book signings , wearing new clothes, and traveling all around Brazil. Soon everything Vera, her brothers, and her mother wanted was at their fingertips.
Vera said her mother always wanted to be the center of attention, and aspired to become a singer and an actress. Despite her efforts to do so, her publisher informed her that this would not benefit her and that she should continue writing her books.
Soon after the family moved away from the favela and into Santana the children quickly learned about prejudice. Here, Carolina and the family lived in a large brick house that seemed almost like a prison due to its size. Other children in the neighborhood were not allowed to play with Vera and her two brothers because other families considered Carolina "marked by the favela",  This was unusual to Vera and her brothers because they were so used to playing outside, but in Santana they remained in their home and did not interact with other children.
Despite her fame and fortune Vera noticed her mother becoming impatient due to her lack of privacy. Before her publication all Carolina wanted was to have her writing noticed, but now she started to regret this decision. Now that money was plentiful Carolina began to spend without paying attention to what she was spending her earnings on.
She wanted to be an English-language translator. Along with his intelligence he was simultaneously angry and erratic — again, a trait of his mother. Although living among the lowest classes of society, Carolina had dreams and aspirations like those who lived most comfortably in Brazil during the mids.
Some would argue that all members of society, regardless of social or economic status, have goals and ambitions of some sort. However, Carolina Maria de Jesus was a woman who believed that her dreams could be realized, and against great odds, many of them were.
At no point in Carolina's life did she accept the class of society she was born into. The activities that Carolina used to occupy her free time, her decision to avoid the many vices present in everyday favela life, as well as her choice of sexual partners, all indicate that while she was physically in the favela her mind was elsewhere.
She wrote poems, novels and stories.
In the early s, Carolina began taking her work to editors in an attempt to get it published. Among the many things that Carolina chose to write about in her diary were the people living around her. She describes herself as being very different from the other favelados, and claimed that "she detested other blacks from her social class". Carolina was consistently able to provide for her children by recycling used trash for money or foraging through garbage cans for food and clothing.
Another atypical part of Carolina's life concerned her choice of sexual partners. Although it was not unusual for faveladas to seek lighter-skinned partners, since light skin was associated with higher economic status, Carolina never used her relationships to better her own situation. The fathers of her children were all white foreigners from Italy, Portugal , and the United States.
A possible explanation may be that she did not want anyone to compromise her way of living. Regardless of the reason, Carolina stayed true to her beliefs and would not submit to the way of life that the favela offered her. She wrote four additional books after Child of the Dark , which were published without success. She rose and fell from the public eye rapidly. This was probably because of her strong personality that kept her from getting along with a lot of people.
She also dabbled in poems, short stories, and brief memoirs, none of which were ever published. In fact, her obituary in a edition of Jornal do Brasil comments about her blaming herself for not being able to take advantage of her brief celebrity status and that her stubbornness led her to die in poverty. We should rather consider how her story and descriptions provide insight to the Brazilian favela condition.
For example, the events of Carolina's life can be seen as a sad story for one individual, or one can look beyond that and see the average Brazilian's view of society, family life, equality, poverty, and other aspects of daily existence. Her book was read extensively both in capitalist areas such as Western Europe and the United States, as well as in socialist bloc countries, the Eastern bloc and Cuba , the wide range of audience suggesting how many people her story affected outside of Brazil.
For the liberal and capitalist West, the book portrayed a cruel and corrupt system which had been reinforced by centuries of colonial ideals instilled on the people. In opposition, for the communist readers the stories depicted perfectly the fundamental flaws of the capitalist system where the worker is the most downtrodden part of the economic system.
As Brazilian historian Jose Carlos Sebe noted, "many foreign specialists in Brazil year after year used her translated diary in their classes",  which indicates her important role worldwide in providing one of the only primary direct factual accounts of what was going on in these favelas.
Author Robert M.
Levine describes how, "Carolina's words brought alive a slice of Latin American reality rarely acknowledged in traditional textbooks. On 14 March , search engine Google commemorated Carolina Maria de Jesus with a Doodle on her th birth anniversary.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. University of New Mexico Press, , p.